Stick and Whittle

Sid Hite, Author Scholastic $16.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-439-09828-1
Seasoned with the same tall-tale flavor as the author's Dithers books, this tongue-in-cheek post-Civil War novel combines rip-roaring adventure with Hite's familiar themes of unrequited love, enduring friendship and the mysterious power of fate. Two strangers named Melvin are down on their luck when they meet on the Great Staked Plains of north Texas, team up and take on the nicknames of the title. Whittle, who claims to be 16, has just narrowly escaped the Chicago fire; Stick, 27 and an ex-Confederate soldier, is searching for his old sweetheart, who believes he was killed in the war. In their travels, the pair makes the acquaintance of two Cheyenne Indians, wise Talking Rock and his beautiful young granddaughter, Brings the Rain. The pace gains considerable momentum when Stick learns the whereabouts of his lost love (she has been kidnapped by bandits). While it's pretty clear that the good guys will emerge victorious and the bad guys will get their just deserts, readers will want to follow Hite's labyrinth of curious plot developments (e.g., at one point, Whittle is carried off by a twister). Hite's offbeat western is sure to draw new fans as they relish the book's dry humor, colorful language and passel of surprises. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-22214-3
Paperback - 202 pages - 978-0-439-09829-8
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